Research, Scholarship, and Creative Inquiry Intensive Course Designation

By incorporating undergraduate research into their course syllabi, faculty can help achieve USU’s goal to create transformational impacts through meaningful research and to offer students high-impact, experiential learning. Undergraduate research is defined broadly as a mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a scholarly or artistic contribution to knowledge. 

Any USU course can be designated as Research, Scholarship, and Creative Inquiry Intensive (RSCI) in Banner. The RSCI designation (course attribute) indicates that the course involves research-based learning and hands-on training in fundamental practices of original knowledge creation in a discipline. The designation can apply to all sections of a course or an individual section and specific instructor. Before courses can receive the RSCI designation, faculty must complete a brief course designation form available on the Office of Research Student Research website, outlining how the course meets the criteria established by the faculty committee on RSCI. Submitted forms and syllabi are reviewed by the Undergraduate Research Advisory Board each semester.

Research-based learning has been shown through decades of study to be among the highest impact experiences college students can have. Faculty who incorporate research learning into their courses often observe that it benefits their own research program by preparing undergraduates to work with them beyond the classroom. Meanwhile, students with research experience are better prepared to transfer these skills of inquiry, data collection, analysis, and communication to a variety of careers


Summer and Fall Courses: April 15
Spring Courses: October 15

The Rubric

Criterion Description
Amount of course material focused on the conduct of RSCI Half the course or more as represented by the syllabus is devoted to students conducting and presenting RSCI
Reflection and self-assessment Evidence that students are required to engage in reflection and self assessment at pivotal moments in the research, focused on relevance and meaning of the experience/process/product, leading students to an understanding of the advanced practice of the discipline. 
Frequent, meaningful, and (in)formative feedback from a mentor Integrated, iterative opportunities for students to receive specific, critical, constructive feedback from the research mentor/instructor 
Scaffolding of the research process Structured practice of the research process built into the course materials, for example disciplinary methods, literature, data/citation management, project planning, question formulation, identification of appropriate methods and theories, analysis, writing/making
Dissemination Students will be empowered to present, publish, perform, or display their research products in a public forum, e.g.. a publicly shared course blog, institutional repository, departmental symposium, student research symposium, student journal 
Peer review/collaborative work Students gain experience in collaborative, team-based, or peer review practices common to research in the discipline